A lot is going on with this piece of news. First of all, any video game player worth her salt knows what a gaming ghetto the Mac environment has historically been. For numerous reasons, game developers in general tend to shun Steve Jobs‘ favorite platform in favor of the PC. It’s sort of a self-defeating phenomenon: no games come to the Mac, leading to the belief that Macs aren’t for games, which perpetuates the lack of games being brought over.
This isn’t to say that no games arrive, of course. Blizzard Entertainment has always supported both platforms as a simultaneous release, but they’re typically seen as the exception that proves the rule. However, the MMO space seems to be cutting into that perception just a bit, with Mac clients for EVE Online, City of Heroes, and now Warhammer Online.
Mythic Entertainment makes a point of mentioning that TransGaming‘s Cider was used to bring the previously PC-only title to the Mac, which would seem to point to an easy solution for studios that are considering dipping into the admittedly smaller market. But as always, the numbers will dictate strategy for the smaller dev houses. Is it worth putting in the time and money to create Mac versions of games that already don’t sell in the millions on PC? The home console market has taken a big bite out of PC sales as it is, but many titles are released for both consoles and PC utilizing the Steam download service.
Regardless, maybe Mythic’s decision to put WAR on the Mac is indicative of a slowly-growing trend … or maybe their staff is full of people who use Macs and just wanted to be able to play WAR without having to switch computers. And maybe they’re behind the fact that, once the Mac version comes out of beta, existing players will be able to proudly display the exclusive titles “I’M AN ORDER/I’M A DESTRUCTION” depending on their faction affiliation.
Will Mac gaming finally start to come out of its cave?